What am I doing?
Over the christmas break, I did not perhaps do a lot of ‘work’; but I was still thinking about it a lot. But there was one day that I just had to draw. The holidays can be tough for some people, including myself from time to time. So by doing some drawing, it led me out of the tough time. Before I knew it I had created a whole little sketchbook worth of scribbles. Art is a way of helping me deal with stress or if I am feeling down.
As is the case sometimes when I am working, I do not instantly know what I am doing. I just make work instinctively and then reflect afterwards on why I have created what I have. Sometimes the make no sense to me either for a while and then I figure out eventually. But I guess everything I does ties into each other and flows as one. And this sketchbook was one of these cases. The piece shown above is one of the most interesting I found at the time and I have decided to scale it up making it larger. It is just little scribbles over and over, all lined up in the same order and same size. As I dug deeper into why I had done this, I noticed that there were almost like a code. A code that has a hidden meaning? My friend actually said it reminded him of the zodiac killers codes (which it is not). So as I started to realise this about the little scribbles I started consciously adding in some words and/or letters to see if there was a difference between the sub-conscious scribbles and the conscious scribbles – and I personally don’t think that it is apparent – which I enjoy.
After this little experiment in my sketchbook, I came back into the studio and created a larger version on the biggest paper I could get my hands on as I was curious to see what it looked like and to see if it would have the same impact.
This is the start of the work on a piece of paper bigger than A1 size. As you can image, it took me a long while however, not as long as I am used to – to be fair. Usually the works that I make can take days on end but this one only took about 4 hours in one sitting.
I started off with a prepared bit of writing that I was going to write in this ‘new language’, a short story about how damaging depression can be and how it can lead to other mental and physical problems, and how I actually learned what cause my illnesses etc. I wrote a little about my own problems, in depth, and thats why I thought it would be good to cover this up with the scribbles because I do not really want to show all the detail that made me broken. I will be the only one who actually knows what is under those scribbles and what is said.I suppose another question someone may ask, why scribbles? I remember when I was younger and when I was ill, i did not consider myself an artist in any way but I always did like to doodle and the more I thought about it, the more the scribbles could mean something. It is a way to take out some anger and some frustration for me, from everyday life which can be a lot more tricky for me than the others who are ‘normal’. I also think it is just a similar approach as well as previous works. It is a type of mark making for me and that is an important part of my work, as it shows the patience and hard work that has been put in.
It is 100% labour intensive.
It is a lot of hard work that people won’t necessarily take into account but that works also. There is a lot more that meets the eye in my work. It isn’t just black and white (although it may seem that way), it is not something that is easy – it is rather difficult in fact to keep going in many cases. And this is also the case with some mental disorders. I say this in the terms of how hard it can be yet no none might notice because on the surface you seem fine. It happened to me. I suffered from high functioning depression so it was not easy to control or spot. I did not know what it was, I just knew that I felt awful all the time and because I could slap on a fake face and smile everyone thought I was okay. BUT as I seem to have gone off tangent – the point is that it is okay if people do not understand my work because that mirrors the idea of depression in some cases also. There is still a big chunk of society that does not believe in mental health, and they just believe it is a myth, an excuse for being lazy – WHICH IT IS NOT!